Summary: This three sermon series focuses on Mary at the feet of Jesus. In Luke 10, Mary is at His feet, savoring His word. Expository and alliterated, PowerPoint is available if you e-mail me.
At His Feet (Savoring His Word)
Scott Bayles, pastor
Blooming Grove Christian Church: 3/18/2012
The Bible says, in Romans 10:15, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace…” (NKJV). I don’t know about you, but when I think about beautiful things, feet don’t rank very high on my list. Feet are sweaty and stinky. Did you know that your feet have roughly 250,000 sweat glands!? That’s why they’re so stinky!
Madeline Albrecht knows all about stinky feet. Madeline knew she was destined for greatness when she was hired by the Hill Top Research Laboratories, a testing lab for Dr. Scholl’s. Her job was to sniff feet, which she did for 15 years. During her pungent career, Madeline set the world record for sniffing approximately 5,600 feet.
You thought your job stinks!
Our feet may not be the sweetest smelling appendage, but if the feet of those who share the good news are considered beautiful by God, then how much more beautiful are the feet of the One who made the good news so good?
Joni Eareckson once shared a little story about a trip she took with her friends Francie and Judy to Johns Hopkins Medical Center. In a luxurious lobby, a 25-foot statue of Christ towers beneath a four-story glass rotunda. The sculptor fashioned Jesus looking down with his arms outstretched, as if bestowing a blessing. Simply awestruck, Joni lowered her gaze realized just where she was, then whispered to her friend, “It’s good to be at his feet.”
Suddenly an officious-looking man approached. “Isn’t your name Joni?” he asked, introducing himself as an administrator at Johns Hopkins. “I’m a Christian, too,” he said. “If there’s anything I can ever do to help, let me know.” It was a generous offer, but after flying home to California, Joni forgot all about it. She forgot, that is, until her friend Melanie-who is rapidly going blind, told her, “My specialist says that the only people who might be able to do anything are at Johns Hopkins. But I don’t know a soul there and I don’t think I could ever get an appointment?”
Instantly remembering what happened at the feet of the statue of Jesus, Joni made a call to the administrator, putting him in touch with Melanie... and the door opened for her. Before she flew east for her appointment, Joni emailed her: “Dear Melanie, there’s a statue of Jesus you must see when you go to Johns Hopkins next week. Don’t miss it. Amazing things happen at his feet.”
She’s right, you know. Amazing things happen at the feet of Jesus. And no one knows that better than Mary of Bethany. Nearly every time her name is mentioned in the Bible, she can be found at the feet of Jesus. In fact, the Bible shares three different stories about Mary at Jesus’ feet and each time amazing things happened. This morning I’d like to look at the first time Mary is found at His feet. This time, she’s at His feet savoring his word. Let’s take a look at this story:
As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.” But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:38-42 NLT)
My guess is—most of us here today probably identify more with Martha than with Mary. So many sermons, articles and books have been written about this poignant passage. My favorite is a book titled Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World. That’s what we all need, isn’t it? A heart like Mary’s—a heart that leads us to the feet of Christ. So, how do we develop a heart like that? How do we have a Mary heart in a Martha world? First, having a heart like Mary’s requires a shift in focus.
• A SHIFT IN FOCUS
Mary and Martha had a very distinct difference in focus.
Admittedly, Martha has a lot on here plate right now. She’s as busy as a room full of kindergarteners. She’s just invited Jesus along with his twelve hungry apostles over for dinner and she doesn’t whip up an impromptu casserole of Kraft macaroni and cheese and Ballpark franks. Not, this hostess! She goes all out. Martha is the Queen of the Kitchen—and the rest of the house too. The Bible doesn’t tell us her last name, but I’m betting it was Stewart. She’s the Proverbs 31 woman; Israel’s answer to Betty Crocker. Martha is going to prepare a banquet fit for a King—the King of Kings. She sends one servant out to slaughter a lamb and another one to the market pick up those delicious pomegranates she saw the other day. Forget about stopping to smell the roses, Martha has to pick the roses, cut the stems at an angle, and arrange them in a vase with some baby’s breath. Then maybe she’ll take second to snap a quick picture and upload it to Facebook before moving on to the next chore. So much to do and so little time. The Bible says, “Martha was distracted by her many tasks” (Luke 10:40 HCSB).